The S&T Motiv K11 Dual-barrel Airburst Weapon, or K11 DAW for short, is a South Korean multi-weapon platform. It is the first airburst rifle to be used as standard in a military in any country.
History[edit | edit source]
While only officially revealed at the DSEI military expo, developmental information for the K11 was available since 2006. The weapon was adopted by the Republic of Korea Armed Forces in 2008 and was distributed to the Republic of Korea army in 2010. Each squad in the military is said to use two K11s, though the army said they would not be replacing grenadiers who were still using K2s with the underslung K201 grenade launcher.
In May 2010, the United Arab Emirates requested an order for 40 K11s for evaluation purposes; all 40 amounted to a total of US$560,000, which makes one unit cost around US$14,000. Unfortunately for S&T Motiv, it was reported in March 2011 that 15 of the 39 K11s in service (within the 15 were 7 of the 20 rifles used in Afghanistan) had serious issues and defects, such as the barrel moving during firing, and a decision was made to stop production of the K11 and its design be modified.
South Korea's state procurement agency, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, later said they had finished modifying the design and that production was set to resume. However, another defect with the K11 was found in 2014, this time pertaining to the fire control systems, and production was halted once again; the South Korean Agency for Defense Development said they would be adopting a large scale solution to rectify this problem by the end of 2016.
The K11 is currently being upgraded to reduce the shock from firing the 5.56 NATO rounds by as much as 40%, and similar technology is being used to do the same for the grenade launcher portion of the K11. These upgrades are likely to strengthen the ammunition's power of the K11, making it easier to use, along with decreasing the weight of the K11 by about 10%.
Design Details[edit | edit source]
The K11 is equipped with a ballistics computer and a laser rangefinder which allows the operator to quickly find the target and launch a shell. As the shell is equipped with airburst capabilities, the shells are programmed to explode a few meters away from their intended target. The electronic scope can also be linked to a goggle system with an electronic display. Said display can also be used with thermal imaging. The selector switch has four positions and is quite similar to the one seen on an AR-15; 3 o'clock for semi-automatic, 6 o'clock for three-round burst, 9 o'clock for safe, and 12 o'clock for fully-automatic. The 12 o'clock position also controls the grenade launcher, and this allows grenades and bullets to be fired using the same trigger. Because of this, grenades and bullets cannot be used at the same time, though other similar weapon platforms rarely do need this capability. As the weapon is based on the XM29 OICW, a known problem with the OICW was that the grenades were far too weak; it is not known if the K11 fixes this problem with lethality.
Ammunition[edit | edit source]
While the KE portion of the weapon uses standard 5.56mm NATO ammunition, there are two types of 20×30mm grenades used in the K11; the K168 dummy round used for training, and the K167 round with 100 grams of explosives, along with an internal fuze with three settings: point detonation, point detonation-delayed and airburst. Airburst causes the grenade to detonate in front of, behind or over targets, capable of killing people in a six meter area and seriously wounding those in an eight meter area with the help of the rangefinder. Point detonation makes the grenade explode on impact, while point detonation delay makes the grenade explode after penetrating through a wall or the like. If a round is not fired after two minutes of being sighted, the grenade disarms itself; if the grenade does not explode, there is a safety measure in the grenade, where there is a backup explosive charge that will detonate after being at rest for two seconds after impact.
References[edit | edit source]